Healthy Christmas Entrée: Roasted Balsamic Beetroot Salad

Healthy Christmas Entrée: Roasted Balsamic Beetroot Salad

Christmas may traditionally be a time to over-indulge, but Cancer Council says it doesn’t have to be this way.

To help us embrace a healthier approach to the festive season this year its offering delicious alternatives to the usual fatty feasts with the launch of its new free Festive Cookbook.

“It’s easy to get carried away with the array of sugary and fatty foods around us this time of year, says Cancer Council NSW Nutrition Program Manager, Wendy Watson.

“However, preparing some healthier versions of traditional holiday meals is easier than you think.”

Wendy says the new e-book is full of tips and tricks to ensure you don’t fall behind when it comes to eating healthy while enjoying the holidays.

The Festive Cookbook, free to download here, also contains over 30 recipes offering all the Christmas favourites, including roast dinners, seafood platters, summer salads and of course a Christmas pudding for dessert.

Here’s just a taste of what’s inside.

Roasted Balsamic Beetroot Salad

Serves: 6
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 5 medium beetroots, scrubbed, trimmed, halved or quartered
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1/3 cup black quinoa
  • 1 cup firmly packed mixed salad leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped brazil nuts


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius fan forced. Line an oven tray with a large piece of foil. Place beetroots on the foil, drizzle with balsamic and oil and toss. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Gather corners of foil and scrunch together to form a sealed bag. Roast for 1 hour or until tender. Open foil and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a small saucepan, cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa tails begin to unravel. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine beetroot, quinoa, salad leaves, brazil nuts and beetroot juice from the foil. Season with salt and pepper if required and toss all. Transfer to serving plate.

Main pic: Danella Chalmers